FedEx to buy TNT to expand Europe Deliveries

FedEx Corp (FDX.N) launched a 4.4 billion euros ($4.8 billion) bid to buy Dutch package delivery company TNT Express (TNTE.AS), seeking success where main rival United Parcel Service (UPS.N) failed two years ago when its bid was blocked on competition concerns.

FedEx will offer 8 euros in cash per ordinary TNT Express share, in a deal that would give the U.S. firm access to TNT’s European road network and TNT customers access to FedEx’s global distribution platform, the companies said on Tuesday.

The price represents a premium of 33 percent over TNT’s closing price of 6 euros on the Amsterdam exchange on April 2.

The deal has been unanimously recommended by TNT Express’ supervisory board. TNT’s largest shareholder, PostNL (PTNL.AS), said it would tender its 14.7 percent stake in TNT to the FedEx offer.

The companies said they did not expect significant antitrust opposition and see the deal closing in the first half of 2016.

In 2013, European Union regulators blocked UPS’s 9.50 euro per share takeover bid on concerns it would reduce competition.

Unlike FedEx, UPS already had a strong European network as it attempted to buy TNT.

While disappointing for UPS, the regulatory decision was damaging for TNT, which had been counting on adopting much of UPS’s logistics backbone.

TNT embarked on a restructuring programme, cutting costs, selling operations and investing heavily in its road network to hold on to customers in a weak European market for business package deliveries.

TNT warned in February that it expected adverse trading conditions to continue in its main western European markets this year.

FedEx Chief Executive Frederick Smith said on Tuesday the deal would “quickly broaden our portfolio of international” offerings.

TNT CEO Tex Gunning said while he had been focused on TNT’s standalone future, FedEx’s offer is “good news”.

($1 = 0.9156 euros)

Source: Reuters

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